Forum: Race Officers

Calling boats Over Early

Sue Reilly
Nationality: United States of America
Certifications:
  • Regional Umpire
  • Regional Judge
  • Regional Race Officer
Reading Scuttlebutt today I found this little tidbit.  
 
 Editor's note: With regard to Peter McCorquodale's comment in #5681 that RRS 26 does not allow a RC to notify a yacht that it is over early until the actual start time, we are told this is not entirely correct. In an I-flag or U-flag start, the RC certainly could notify as there is no prohibition against it, but the RC may not want to do it.  In a P-flag start, it is not that the RC is not allowed, but rather they can’t determine who is over until the actual start. However, one could argue that calling some I-flag violations before the gun might inspire more restraint among the fleet as well as helping them to identify just where the line actually is so they can be “good” which results in fewer general recalls.

Wondering what everyone thinks of calling some I flag violations before the gun.  IMO this would lead to more boats pushing the line as they would be told when they had gone to far, doing the opposite of restraint.  I also thinks it borders on outside assistance.  I would love to hear your opinions.  
Created: 20-Oct-22 17:06

Comments

P
Angelo Guarino
Nationality: United States of America
Certifications:
  • Regional Judge
  • Fleet Measurer
0
Sue .. I'm recalling a similar discussion here on the forum in a past thread.  If I (or anyone else) can dig it up .. we will paste a link to the thread.

Ang
Created: 20-Oct-22 17:10
Craig Priniski
Nationality: United States of America
Certifications:
  • Club Race Officer
0
Wasn't there an attempt to do this with a "V" flag or something a few years back?  If anyone was in the triangle before the start...
Created: 20-Oct-22 17:25
Don Becker
Nationality: United States of America
Certifications:
  • International Judge
  • International Umpire
2
Sue,
I've found that for small boat starts under I or U, when I call out loudly to my recorder (whether i have one or not) the boats I have identified as over the line before the starting signal the sailors take note. 
Created: 20-Oct-22 17:41
Tim Hohmann
Nationality: United States of America
Certifications:
  • Club Judge
0
It seems to me that a boat breaks 30.1 (I flag) as soon as she is in the triangle or enters the triangle within 1 minute of the start, so the RC should (maybe must?) signal Individual Recall at that moment. I think it depends on how you parse "at a boat's starting signal..." Does that clause apply just to :"is on the course side, or also to "must comply with rule 30.1"?
Created: 20-Oct-22 17:41
Richard York
Nationality: United States of America
0
There should be a comma after "line" in the first sentence of 29.1 ??  (Discuss)

Created: 20-Oct-22 17:52
Craig Priniski
Nationality: United States of America
Certifications:
  • Club Race Officer
0
The boat can clear themselves by sailing around the ends, it's the same in a regular start you are OCS once you cross the line, but all you have to do is dip back.  There was an experimental rule I believe using the "v" flag like the "x" flag prior to the start, without being burdened with hailing individual numbers. 
Created: 20-Oct-22 17:55
Tim Hohmann
Nationality: United States of America
Certifications:
  • Club Judge
0
But Craig, under a P flag start a boat doesn't break a rule until the starting signal. Under I flag the boat has broken 30.1 at one minute prior and is subject to individual recall at that point. Question is does 29.1 require the RC to delay the IR signal until the starting signal.

I can see another argument for delaying though - if RC sounds the IR signal early it seems likely that some boats will mistake it for the starting signal.
Created: 20-Oct-22 18:07
Pat Lymburner
Nationality: Canada
Certifications:
  • Regional Judge
  • National Race Officer
0
We tried the “V” flag as specified by then ISAF for two seasons at CORK as an experiment. We found that in dinghy fleets it tended to cause the competitors to bunch up at the line very early likely as they tried to perfect their transits. The net result was it increased the number of General Recalls and we gave it up. It is my belief that calling boats over the line prior to the start places more stress in the RC and the competitor and should be avoided. They have the responsibility to start correctly. 
Created: 20-Oct-22 18:07
Matt Bounds
Nationality: United States of America
Certifications:
  • National Judge
  • National Race Officer
2
The use of the Victor flag originated with the Thistles some time (15+ years) ago.  They have since abandoned it for the reasons Pat stated.

Tim - 30.1 does not use "the triangle" that 30.2 (Z), 30.3 (U) and 30.4 (Black) do - it's the line and it's extensions.  I would argue that notifying a boat that is over the line (or it's extensions) in the 1 minute prior to the start is giving that boat a head start in clearing themselves.  They can sheet in, pull ahead of the fleet (potentially taking more people with them) and get started around an end before the starting signal.

On a P-flag start, I've been known to get very excited (=loud) when speaking into my voice recorder.  The boats within earshot certainly take notice and it does help control the fleet, at least at the signal boat end.  The longer the line, the less likely I am to do it, since the folks at the pin end don't have that benefit.  It is not outside assistance since it is unsolicited.

There's also US Sailing Appeal 118.

Created: 20-Oct-22 18:29
Craig Priniski
Nationality: United States of America
Certifications:
  • Club Race Officer
0
Yes I tend to agree it result in more aggressive fleets and the Tim the rules was written for boats "in the triangle" presuming boats past the ends would dip and start propperly, there was no sound signal with the "v" flag so no confusion, you just had your crew watching for it to go up if you were close...  Hailing or radio hailing OCS prior to the start I think would have the same result, especially in aggressive fleets, more general recalls and more "failed to hear hail" attempts at redress. 
Created: 20-Oct-22 18:41
Rob Overton
Nationality: United States of America
Certifications:
  • National Judge
  • International Umpire
1
Replying only to Richard York, who suggests a comma after "line" in the first sentence of rule 29.1:  I don't think so.  There are places where commas are required (for example, at the end of a parenthetical phrase when the beginning has been identified with a comma) and places where they're forbidden (for example, between a subject and verb of a sentence), but in many situations they're optional.  The policy used by the US Racing Rules Committee has generally been to ask, "Do we want to slow the reader here, in order to have them digest what they just read, or do we want to have them continue reading unimpeded?"  We generally avoid commas if the answer to that question is not clear.  In the case cited by Richard, I think the answer is that we want the reader to take the two conditions (the boat is OCS or needs to comply with the I Flag rule) together and continue to the meat of the sentence (RC flies flag X) without interruption.  I admit that due to the length of the OCS part it's a close thing, but I'm sticking to no comma there. 
Created: 20-Oct-22 18:57
Sue Reilly
Nationality: United States of America
Certifications:
  • Regional Umpire
  • Regional Judge
  • Regional Race Officer
0
I have to say I am a bit surprised with some of the comments.  As someone who was forced to work with the V flag at an event years afo, IMO it was a huge failure.  And a pain in the butt.  
I am also surprised with using general recalls as a reason for using not only the V flag but calling boats over early prior to the start signal.   General Recalls are almost always the lines fault - i.e. favored end, short, wind shift, current, etc.  Best way to eliminate general recalls is fix the line, just watch Ken Legler in action, the king of no generals.   Sloppy RC work is no reason to add more moving parts to an already hectic situation.  
Created: 20-Oct-22 19:00
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Angelo Guarino
Nationality: United States of America
Certifications:
  • Regional Judge
  • Fleet Measurer
0
" General Recalls are almost always the lines fault ..."

Sue .. on behalf of the Annapolis J105 fleet  .. we just want to say ...  "We just knew it wasn't because of us!!" :-)
Created: 20-Oct-22 19:04
Tim Hohmann
Nationality: United States of America
Certifications:
  • Club Judge
0
Tim - 30.1 does not use "the triangle" that 30.2 (Z), 30.3 (U) and 30.4 (Black) do - it's the line and it's extensions.  

I get that, I misspoke. 

The point remains that 30.1 may be broken before the starting signal while P flag OCS doesn't occur until the signal goes. But I think I agree that it's not necessary or a good idea to try to inform boats or make an individual recall signal until after the starting signal. A boat is responsible to know if she's over the line or not when prep comes down.
Created: 20-Oct-22 19:24
John Fothergill
Nationality: United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
Certifications:
  • National Race Officer
0
Be careful about shouting things into your voice recorder (or to another person on the Committee Boat) with the intention of neaby boats hearing you.  I have been protested for doing that - albeit in a slightly different context - and thereby advantaging those who heard me over those who couldn't. 
Created: 20-Oct-22 19:41
P
Angelo Guarino
Nationality: United States of America
Certifications:
  • Regional Judge
  • Fleet Measurer
0
Thanks Matt .. US Appeal 118 was what I was thinking about.  Paul started a thread around its publishing in 2018: Outside assistance by the RC?


Created: 20-Oct-22 19:54
Sue Reilly
Nationality: United States of America
Certifications:
  • Regional Umpire
  • Regional Judge
  • Regional Race Officer
0
Angelo - It's never the 105's fault.  Not just in Annapolis :)  Nor the J22, J80, J24, J70, J30, J35, J109, J11, J120.......  (fingers got tired typing numbers :) )
Created: 20-Oct-22 20:11
Mark Townsend
Nationality: United States of America
Certifications:
  • International Race Officer
  • International Umpire
  • International Judge
0
IMHO you don't break rule 30.1 before the start.

30.1 If flag I has been displayed, and any part of a boat's hull, crew or equipment is on the course side of the starting line or one of its extensions during the last minute before her starting signal, she shall sail across an extension to the pre-start side before starting.

Rule 30.1 requires a boat who has been on the course side of the starting line or one of its extensions during the last minute before her starting signal, to sail across an extension before starting. The race committee signals that a boat needs to comply with rule 30.1 by displaying flag X with one sound signal at a boat's starting signal. see Rule 29.1 Individual Recall. When a boat fails to comply with rule 30.1 they are scored OCS under rule 29.1.
Created: 20-Oct-22 20:20
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John Allan
Nationality: Australia
Certifications:
  • National Judge
  • Regional Race Officer
0
Thanks Matt Bounds for USA Appeal US118.  What a good case.

Answer 1
The term “improper,” as it is used in rule 62.1(a), is not a defined term in The Racing Rules of Sailing (RRS). The Introduction to the RRS states “Other words and terms are used in the sense ordinarily understood in nautical or general use.”
The Oxford English Dictionary contains these definitions of the term “improper” which, in our opinion, are appropriate for the term’s use in rule 62.1(a):
  1. not in accordance with accepted standards
  2. inappropriate, unacceptable, unsuitable, irregular
  3. against the rules
One conclusion we can draw is that an action is “improper” if it is against the rules. Beyond that, our conclusion is that the term is not an absolute, objective term. Its application is based on the context of the situation in which it is being applied; i.e., it is subjective.
No rule in The Racing Rules of Sailing forbids the race committee from hailing boats before the language regarding the race committee hailing boats before the starting signal. In some situations this action will be considered acceptable and appropriate, and in some situations it will be considered not acceptable or appropriate; i.e., “improper.” One reason given for hailing is that the race committee’s job is to get the race started, and having general recalls, and especially multiple general recalls, is frustrating for all the sailors. For these reasons, the answer to Question 1 depends on the level of the event, the norm for races run by that race committee, the consistency with which it is applied, what the sailors want or expect, and what is stated in the sailing instructions or other rules governing the event.
We note that the hailing of boats by the race committee can provide “help” to those boats, but those boats do not break rule 41 because the help is in the form of information freely available to all boats and is unsolicited information from a disinterested source (see rules 41(c) and 41(d)).

I think the discussion of 'improper' is infinitely more persuasive and useful than the bald statements in World Sailing Judges Manual - K29.9 Improper Action or Omission.

And I particularly liked "the race committee’s job is to get the race started".

Created: 20-Oct-22 22:26
Dana OBrien
Nationality: United States of America
Certifications:
  • Club Race Officer
0
We use the I flag for our Frostbiting Fleet of 50+ boats all the time - usually after one General Recall.   I would say that informing a competitor they are over early in advance of the start is improper and defeats the purpose.  Your are giving them an advantage vs. other competitor that are following the rules - i.e. giving them extra time to go around the ends unobstructed before the start. It also undermines the message that if you are on course side before the start you are over early at the start and have to go around the ends through all sorts of boat traffic - once the offending boats get this message they think thrice about doing it again.  
Created: 20-Oct-23 03:13
P
Angelo Guarino
Nationality: United States of America
Certifications:
  • Regional Judge
  • Fleet Measurer
0
John re: “And I particularly liked "the race committee’s job is to get the race started".

I think I’d like to add the word “fairly” to the end of that sentence. 

My concerns stated in 2018 in the previous thread, and I think I read here from other comments, are arguments of both fairness and effectiveness. 

In the expediency of “getting races started” RC’s can be forgiven for trying novel approaches that in the end prove ineffective, but it may be easier to find such approaches improper when expediency comes at the cost of fairness. 
Created: 20-Oct-23 11:29
David Henshall
Nationality: United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
Certifications:
  • National Race Officer
0
In the end, it can come down to the nature of the event - both in the entry and the location. Being a frequent RO for dinghy events in a very tidal area, we quite often use an I flag start. Now if this is an option on the day, I will approach the fleet before hand and ask what they want - after all, it is their event. The more relaxed events like it when you do give them some extra 'input' - I, or the ARO will have a second I flag on a stick and a whistle - if someone is getting carried towards the line and has become the 'high boat' above the rest, a blast on the whistle, pointing with the flag at the helm lets them know. Yes...of course none of this is in the rules, but we get a lot of people coming to the coast from the inland clubs - who have yet to work out tidal flows. These are 'relaxed' events -far more about the sailors having a good time out afloat in the company of their friends - I wouldn't even start to consider doing this at a Championships. But as a way of encouraging participation - and getting the sailors to come back the following season, it has proved to be a positive step and one liked by the competitors.
Created: 20-Oct-23 17:50
Rick Myers
Nationality: United States of America
Certifications:
  • Regional Umpire
  • Club Race Officer
  • National Judge
0
As a competitor there are few things that annoy me more than a boat that is OCS screwing up my perfect start.  Could it be more fair to the boats that are starting correctly to inform the OCS boats that they are early at 30 seconds and have them clear out instead of hoping they don’t get caught and cause all sorts of mayhem?
Created: 20-Oct-29 01:13
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